For some new parents already struggling with a lack of sleep, perhaps the biggest passion killer is the idea that with kids in the house, you can no longer throw yourself into the deed with gay abandon for fear of them seeing or hearing something that will traumatise them and embarrass you.
Despite this, though, it is possible to still enjoy a good sex life when there are kids in the house. Here's how:
Find the time
Most busy parents barely find the time to clean their teeth each morning, so finding a little uninterrupted time in your schedule to enjoy something more intimate can seem like Mission Impossible. It is important to re-organise your priorities so you can spend time with your partner - and having kids in the house shouldn't ever be considered an impediment to getting that time together.
While the morning sex you once enjoyed may be out the window while your kids are waking up before the sun, here are some simple ways you can find the time to connect on a regular basis:
Go to bed together at night. If you drag yourself to bed hours before or after your partner, it's likely one of you will be fast asleep when the other is ready for action.
Go to bed early. Kids in tucked up in bed? Turn off the TV and go to bed.
Send the kids away for the night. Friends and family are often happy to do a little babysitting. Take advantage of their generosity and spend some together-time at home. Alone.
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Organise afternoon delight. If nighttime really is just for sleeping because you are too weary by then to consider anything friskier, try to schedule some together-time during daylight hours. Harder to do but definitely worth the effort!
When your kids are small, the very idea of privacy seems as elusive as a clean and tidy house. Not only do you want to be available to them at all times but you also want to be able to respond immediately to their needs. For this reason, many parents dispense with adult notions of going to the toilet or showering on their own. All doors in the house are left permanently open - unless bub is sleeping and then their door is most definitely shut!
But how do you instill a sense of privacy in your kids when you've had an open-door policy all their young lives? Once they graduate to a Big Bed, you should begin teaching your kids to respect closed doors. This is the beginning of a big life lesson - respecting others' space - and it will enable you to make the most of your private time with a little more confidence that you won't be unexpectedly interrupted.
Keeping the noise down
Nothing cramps your style more than knowing that you have to be q-u-i-e-t at all times for fear of advertising what you are doing behind closed doors. While we can't judge what you can get away with in your own home, we do have some practical tips:
Road-test your bed. It's one thing to keep your own noise under control but if your bed is doing the talking for you, you really need to take action. Move your bed if it is hitting a wall, invest in a new mattress if the springs are squeaking, tighten up the screws on your bed frame if they are loose... all small and easy stuff.
Turn on a little music. Music in your bedroom, or your kids' rooms, will go a long way to mask any noise you make.
Watch TV. Some experts suggest grabbing a little together time while the kids are happily involved in a favourite DVD in another room. While we are not sure how many parents are actually comfortable getting naked while their offspring sit alert in another room, TV noise does offer a handy noise filter.
Sex when there are younger kids in the house
Strangely, when many new parents bring their little bundle of joy home, their issues about sex (after feeling too sore/ too tired) centre on how to be intimate while their baby is sharing the same room. Aside from the fact that whatever you do and however loudly you do it, your baby won't remember it, there are some very simple ways to get around this issue:
Move your baby into another room. Yes, this may seem obvious but many new mothers are inclined to feel that this is a betrayal of their bond with their newborn. Your baby - your toddler, even - will not take it personally if you put her to sleep in another room.
Move yourselves into another room. If bub is already tucked up and asleep and you're loathe to move her, try snuggling in another room in the house. Not only will this give you some much-needed together time, but getting it on in the nursery/ living room/ kitchen could be considered quite racy!
With the early bedtimes that come with toddlers and preschoolers, these little whirlwinds shouldn't cramp your lovin' style - once they conk out at night, they are generally hard to wake so you can let rip without having to worry too much about the consequences.
Sex when there are older kids in the house
When your kids start going to bed at the same time as you, finding uninterrupted together time can become more challenging. Simply shuffling them off to bed earlier than normal isn't going to work either because often times you'll find them out of bed getting a drink or visiting the bathroom.
Start introducing a closed bedroom door policy while your kids are still young. Teach them that if a door is closed - no matter which door - they have to knock first and then wait to be invited in. This will also help curb your kids of that other annoying habit of barging into the bathroom while you're busy! If you don't feel comfortable sleeping with your bedroom door permanently closed, just shut it when you really don't want to be disturbed and then open it again afterwards.
If you are self-conscious about the noise factor while your kids may be moving around the house, try playing a little music in your bedroom. Not only will it help you relax and put you in the mood, but it will also help cover any happy noises you make.